Guenther Steiner has hinted at "long-term agreements" between Mick Schumacher and Ferrari as to why Haas had to wait to confirm its driver line-up for 2022.
As expected, both Schumacher and team-mate Nikita Mazepin have been retained by the back-of-the-grid outfit ahead of the new regulations coming in next season when Haas is hoping for an upturn in fortunes.
Schumacher was placed with Haas for this season by Ferrari after rising through the junior ranks with the Scuderia's driver academy, despite being slated for an FP1 drive with Alfa Romeo at last season's Eifel Grand Prix.
Before the summer break, Steiner revealed the contract negotiations were a case of crossing T's and dotting I's.
Asked why there was a delay to the announcement, he replied: "As I always said, I didn't see any issues but it wasn't signed so I would not go out there and say it is done until it is done.
"Mick has got long-term agreements with Ferrari which I don't know the detail of so don't ask me for them, I don't know them honestly. They had to figure some things out.
"That took some time but all in all, I always knew it would go in the right direction, they just needed to sort a few things out.
"That was the reason and as I always told you, it was in the right direction but it wasn't signed. Until it is signed, I cannot announce anything."
Haas aimed to announce drivers in Monza
Mazepin and his family's connection to the team meant this weekend's Russian GP was the perfect opportunity to announce the continuation of the two drivers for next year.
Steiner revealed, however, the team had planned to do so earlier.
Asked if at any point in the season he had thought about ending the partnership and had contacted other drivers, Steiner replied: "No, I didn't have any chats with anyone else because we just had to confirm [Mazepin and Schumacher].
"The aim was to do it in Monza but we didn't get there. We just missed the braking point and overshot it.
"That is the reason we did it here, no other reason. I never spoke with any other drivers, no."
What do you think?
Unless the 2022 Hass is a huge leap forward, Mick is wasting his time there. Would be better at Alfa.
Haas hasn't spent the money on their cars this year, which in F1 you simply can't get away with.
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